This week, Tipitina’s (501 Napoleon Ave, Uptown) celebrates 35 years serving up some of the best live music the city has to offer. On the 6th, they hosted a Super Fais Do Do with Bruce Daigrepont. On the 11th, they featured Re:Orientation with Gravity A and friends. This weekend, their anniversary party on Jan 18th and 19th features a reunion of the Radiators as well as the Soul Rebels and Dirty Dozen Brass Band. On the 26th, the venue hosts The Nevilles, a longstanding New Orleans musical family. This selection of artists is just a taste of the quality live music that Tipitina’s might be hosting any weekend in New Orleans, and for the past 35 years.
For their New Year’s resolutions, some people vow to eat less or exercise more. Others vow to perform more acts of kindness or to work even harder to get that big promotion. And some people’s New Year’s Resolution is simply to visit New Orleans in 2013.
Whether you’re traveling for the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, or New Orleans’ fall food fests, your next visit to the city should include a few of New Orleans’ favorite eateries and attractions. We’ve compiled a list of some of the traditional and lesser known sights, tastes, and sounds that should be on your to-do list the next time you visit:
1. Eat oysters. Various restaurants around the city shuck some of the biggest and best tasting oysters in the world—sure, we’ll a little biased—so you’ve got quite a few options on this one. Whether its happy hour or dinnertime, you should check out places like Acme Oyster House, Felix’s, Royal House Oyster Bar, or Bourbon House in the French Quarter, Drago’s or Lüke in the CBD, or Casamento’s or the Blind Pelican Uptown. And just about all of them are accessible via the St. Charles streetcar line just steps from Southern Comfort B&B.
2. Live music on Frenchmen St. Bourbon St may be a top destination for many tourists. And while the strip admittedly has a few decent jazz clubs, Frenchmen St is one of New Orleans’ hidden treasures. The Blue Nile and d.b.a. consistently host some of New Orleans’ favorites of all genres, and you can catch other up-and-coming acts at the Maison (check out their huge window showcase of the musicians performing on stage) or the more intimate, acoustic atmosphere at the Apple Barrel. Located at the far edge of the French Quarter from Canal St, just follow Decatur St all the way down past Esplanade Ave.
As 2012 comes to a close, we wanted to look back at some of our blog posts from throughout the year. Here at Southern Comfort Bed & Breakfast, we aim to bring you some of the most interesting and useful information regarding the potential places, people, and traditions to look out for when you visit the city. In case you missed any of our posts throughout the year—and especially if you’re planning a visit to New Orleans and our B&B sometime soon—here’s a recap of some of our favorites.
Food and restaurants are one of our favorite aspects of New Orleans culture, and we featured plenty of both throughout the year. Green Goddess in Exchange Alley and the Delachaise down the street are two of our favorites. And could you tell we love oysters? Between the Louisiana Oyster Jubilee, charbroiled oysters, and our “Slurping Oysters” post, you can’t miss our devotion to these delectable bivalves. We also shared some tips on where to find surprising local bar food and late-night dining options, which we also thought might be highly valuable to our guests.
Like any holiday, New Orleans celebrates New Year’s Eve in a big way, from fireworks over the Mississippi River to parties at hotels, bars, restaurants, and homes across the city. Downtown, Uptown, Mid-City, or the Marigny—all of New Orleans’ neighborhoods will be alive with partygoers, including natives and those visiting the city for the holidays.
One of the most popular and memorable New Year’s Eve traditions is to go down to Jackson Square for the famous Fleur de Lis drop at 9pm. People flood the square and the streets in anticipation and enjoy light shows courtesy of both the drop itself and the midnight fireworks show over the Mississippi. The event is free and open to the public, and the French Quarter and surrounding areas’ establishments stay open after long into the night for continued late-night merriment.
A beloved local tradition around the holiday, New Orleans restaurants and their Reveillon dinners have been gearing up throughout the month of December in preparation of Christmas and New Year’s. From the French word for “awakening,” Reveillon dinners were historically held after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and again on New Year’s Eve as families and friends gathered to celebrate the holidays. Due to the city’s strong French heritage and love of tradition, New Orleanians continue to revel in the Reveillon dinners every holiday season.
In New Orleans, 47 restaurants across the city will continue this tradition by hosting their own unique Reveillon dinner throughout this month. Original Reveillon menus generally consisted of Creole delicacies, various egg dishes, and sweets, but these local restaurants have developed unique variations of the meal to reflect their house specialties and their take on the spirit of the season.
Salty and slippery, Louisiana oysters are a delicacy long enjoyed by natives and visitors to New Orleans and its surrounding areas. They’re consumed in a variety of ways, from raw, grilled, or charbroiled to fried on a po’ boy and served as oyster dressing on holiday tables. We’re currently in the heart of what is deemed to be the true oyster season, which lasts from September till April and is the non-breeding season for these tasty mollusks.
Oysters are found in their various forms across New Orleans. Some restaurants are known for their oyster specialties, such as Oysters Rockefeller, created by Antoine’s in the French Quarter, founded in 1840. Pascal’s Manale Uptown is known for their New Orleans’ style Bar-B-Que shrimp. Casamento’s on Magazine St is famous for their oyster loaf, a specially dressed and fried oyster po’ boy.
Another New Orleans Christmas tradition involves a different type of light from Celebration in the Oaks. Feux de jois, or “fires of joy,” is a local Christmas Eve pastime that involves lighting bonfires along the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Legend has it that the bonfires guide Papa Noel—or Santa Claus—downriver in his paddleboat, through the dense river-rolling fog, to help his late-night, present-filled journey along.
Since the 1720-30s, these Christmas bonfires have caught the attention of thousands of visitors to New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Gramercy, Lutcher, Reserve, and other Louisiana towns. Another explanation for the founding of this custom—brought over by the first European settlers—was that long ago, before the levees were ever built, these bonfires used to serve as lighthouses that helped to guide friends and family, who were visiting the area for Christmas Eve, down the river to their landing destinations.
On Christmas Eve, you can take a “Bonfire Adventure” with Gray Line New Orleans, which includes a narrated motor coach tour of bonfires built by local communities, a River Road Plantation Tour, and a Cajun Country Dinner. On this tour—or your own personal tour—you’ll see giant structures resembling teepees lining the levees of the Mississippi—more than 100 in all. They’re constructed out of trees, bamboo, sugar cane, and any other flammable product, covered in kerosene, and lit simultaneously around 7pm. read more »